I am at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this week. On Monday, Steve Jobs gave his keynote where he focused exclusively on iPhone 4 and iOS 4. (Apple changed the OS name from iPhone OS to iOS.) The new device looks nice: camera, video in HD, new OS features, beautiful and innovative device design and the new open sourced FaceTime for video chat.
But what was more interesting was what wasn’t mentioned. No discussion of Mac computers at all. Most of the rumors turned out to be false: no Apple TV, no MacBook refresh, no fancy mice. (Really? Mice? Since when does that merit keynote mention?)
But my question to all those lementing is, why would Apple announce all these now? Apple never makes announcements until the products are ready to go. The company does not believe in vaporware at all. And if anything, Apple knows how to keep the focus on it. As far as I can tell, I am expecting a major new Apple announcement every couple of months for the next year. Let me outline them for you:
July: Mac event
This is where we hear about the MacBook and MacMini refreshes, potentially new monitors and the new mouse, if it exists. Perfect for those back to school shoppers, especially those who are sending their kids off to college.
Every year Apple does a music event with iPod refreshes for the holiday season. I think this will be a very special announcement that advances Apple’s strategic goals. The center piece of this event will be the new iPod touch with optional 3G. The reason this will be special is because optional 3G+wifi devices coupled with multitasking in iOS4 will make it possible to use Skype or another VoIP service for all your phone calls, bi-passing the carriers all together (except to act as a pipe). Both Google and Apple have this important goal in common.
February: Connected Life event
Apple has made a number of acquisitions and is doing a number of things behind the scenes that will set up this event. What am I talking about? How about a massive, $1 billion data center in North Carolina, purchases of Siri and LaLa, and very old Apple TV. This will be Apple’s web strategy coming out party, where all of your devices – iPad, iPhone, laptops and desktops, Apple TV (which must be re-branded iTV and will now be powered by iOS)– and all of your files are connected via one cloud-based account that is tied into iTunes and based on MobileMe.
March: iPad 2
The iPad is updated to take advantage of iPhone 4 innovations: forward and backward facing cameras, video recording, and higher resolution “retina” displays. It will be magical… all over again!
The next rev of the operating system that powers iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iTV will be introduced with betas ready for us developers right after Steve Jobs’ keynote.
June: iPhone 4G
Apple’s next generation phone will be LTE compatible, which means you can use it with any carrier, and will be 4G compatible. Good-bye AT&T hell. Hello Verizon hell.